Malaysian doctor, local actress recall experience attending 76th Cannes Film Festival

20 Jun 2023 12:39pm
Malaysian actress and model Sangeeta Krishnasamy - Instagram
Malaysian actress and model Sangeeta Krishnasamy - Instagram

KUALA LUMPUR - For members of the film fraternity as well as film enthusiasts the world over, the recently concluded 76th annual Cannes Film Festival (CFF) in Cannes, France, renowned for its celebration of international cinema, is the place to be.

Among those who made it there were Dr Nisha Thayananthan, a Malaysian surgical resident currently residing in Ireland, and local actress and model, Sangeeta Krishnasamy.

Dr Nisha, a part-time model and fashion enthusiast, said walking the red carpet at the CFF was a dream come true for her, adding the international film festival had broadened her horizons and provided valuable experience outside the medical field.

"It was an amazing experience and a remarkable journey of being a doctor in the operating room and being invited to the red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival. I believe this truly exemplifies the harmonious coexistence of medicine, fashion, and filmmaking," Dr Nisha shared via a WhatsApp message to Bernama.

Dr Nisha recalled feeling a surge of excitement and pride the moment she was clad in a stunning dress designed by a talented Dublin-based designer and with a makeover by a renowned makeup artist from Cannes.

"It's a whole new experience to get dressed and watch handpicked movies with people from many different backgrounds and culture,” said the Miss Earth Malaysia 2020/21 who hails from Seremban.

Dr Nisha believes her background as a medical doctor undoubtedly influenced her approach to the films showcased at the festival.

Drawing on her medical knowledge and empathy, she saw the films as opportunities to reflect on life's experiences and extract meaningful lessons, adding the movies showcased at Cannes carried important messages and resonated deeply with her, reinforcing the power of storytelling in addressing societal issues.

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Among the films that left a lasting impact on Dr Nisha was ‘Black Flies’ which portrayed the journey of Ollie Cross, a young man preparing for medical school and highlighting the daily challenges faced by medical professionals.

"The film's realistic depiction of the medical field resonated deeply with my medical profession, showcasing the dedication and resilience required to save lives despite the obstacles encountered,” she added.

Sharing her view on aspiring medical professionals with a passion for creative pursuits, Dr Nisha emphasised the importance of finding one's purpose and following passions, regardless of societal expectations.

"While being a full-time doctor can be demanding, engaging in creative pursuits brings joy, reduces stress, and enhances personal growth. By immersing themselves in these endeavours, aspiring professionals can become well-rounded individuals who excel in their chosen fields while nurturing their artistic sides,” she added.

Meanwhile, Sangeeta, who attended the CFF for the first time, expressed her belief that the film festival has become a prominent platform for producers seeking international collaborations.

In a special interview with a local daily recently, she was reported as saying that the event offers numerous opportunities for filmmakers and producers to establish connections with experts from various countries.

Sangeeta further pointed out that different nations, including Malaysia, provide incentives for foreign film productions choosing to shoot in the country.

"In the same way, other countries are giving big incentives like Spain, Iran, Brazil, and Taiwan where they are collaborating and co-producing with Malaysia,” she added.

She said this year's CCF has witnessed the participation of numerous Asean countries, leading to the introduction of the Asean-Europe spotlight, adding that the initiative aims to facilitate connections between ASEAN and European filmmakers, fostering co-financing and co-producing collaborations.

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